The working of local government has once again come under scanner keeping in view the “pick and choose” policy adopted by it towards the removal of encroachments from the government land.
Where on one side, dozens of illegal structures including dwellings of lower middle income groups have been razed in the past two years, the local government has not moved an inch to demolish or retrieve the land encroached by the politicians and their kin/ associates.
The green belt area spread over 1,000 square feet, which falls under the Ludhiana municipal corporation, encroached by late Maninder Pal Johar alias Sunny Johar, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) henchman, who had constructed an office in the name of ‘Goodwill Transport’ is an insight into the reluctance of the top bureaucrats to retrieve the government land.
The land is situated on Sidhwan Canal and its present value is worth several crores.
It is rather odd that the authorities have not made a move to retrieve the land even after Sunny Johar’s death.
Most importantly, a communiqué from the executives officer of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) dated 10/11/2014 sent to the office of the assistant town planner Zone-D, municipal corporation, has clearly mentioned that the area has been encroached upon and it a part of the green belt.
“As per the drawing plan of 1993, the location is a green belt area of Bhai Randhir Singh (BRS) Nagar, Block D, development scheme, and cannot be allotted to anyone,” reads the communiqué.
However, there has been no action so far.
Interestingly, the corporation authorities, when asked to disclose the details of the encroached land by Right To Information (RTI) activist Lt Col (retd) Jagdish Brar, stated that the land belonged to irrigation department, which was proved wrong as per the records of LIT.
It is a fear factor or a gesture to appease their political bosses that MC authorities despite making repeated promises have failed to take action against the encroachers.